How will these consensus top-five draft prospects impact the Chicago Blackhawks' rebuild?

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Macklin Celebrini

He is the consensus prospect to go No. 1 overall in the NHL Draft. His joining the Chicago Blackhawks would dramatically alter the rebuild's timeline.

Celebrini won the Hobey Baker Award after he scored 32 goals and 32 assists for Boston University. He will also be 18 when the 2024-25 season NHL starts. Imagine having Bedard and Celebrini on the same team together. That is a lot of goal scoring and playmaking potential.

It also gives the Hawks a chance to improve one of the worst-scoring teams in the NHL. He might not be the draw-at-the-gate prospect like Bedard, but he has the opportunity to form a duo with Bedard like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

Artyom Levshunov

It is not every day a top European prospect goes the NCAA route in their development, but that is what Levshunov did. The Belarusian was outstanding for Michigan State during his freshman season.

He is considered the best defensive prospect in the draft according to the Athletic's midseason rankings (subscription is required to access the link). Although, Corey Pronman, one of the Athletic's three draft experts, has him ranked as the fifth-best prospect in the draft (subscription is required to access this link). Pronman does project Levshunov to be an All-Star defenseman.

ESPN's Rachel Doerrire mocks him going to the Hawks with the No. 2 pick (subscription is needed to access the link)...

He has developed at light speed, leading scouts to believe that he could be an impactful two-way defenseman at the NHL level. He makes a good first pass, finds shooting lanes and is a dominant force. Defensively, he's quite raw but shows a ton of upside with his physical tools, excellent skating ability and puck battle success rate in the defensive zone. In the right development environment, Levshunov could be a top-pairing defenseman who dictates play from the back end.

If the Hawks take him, it would not be a shock if they have him return to Michigan State for two more seasons. Yes, Kevin Korchinski showed up this season at 18. The Hawks only had nine games to get him some professional experience in his development before they would have had to send him back to the juniors. He showed in those nine games that the juniors would be a waste of time, since he could not go to the AHL, the Hawks kept him in the NHL.

That was an exception. The rule is the Hawks prefer to bring their defenseman along slowly. Think about how patient they were with Alex Vlasic. Levshunov may be a few inches shorter than Vlasic, but he has great size for a defenseman.

He had 26 assists for the Spartans this season. If he needs work on the job's main objective--playing defense--it would make sense if he is the pick, that he spends another year in college or plays for the Rockford IceHogs.

Taking him would bolster the blue line's future as the Hawks have Vlasic and Korchinski at the NHL level. Ethan Del Mastro was very good for the IceHogs. Sam Rinzel played just as good as Levshunov in Big Ten play for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Adding Levshunov helps the rebuild down the road, but it might not have an immediate impact.